Troyes earned an impressive 2-2 draw with Paris Saint-Germain to all but secure their place in Ligue 1 for next season.
No team has beaten PSG in Paris this season – only two others had even managed a draw – and Troyes came as close as any to breaking that streak.
Angel Di Maria created the opening goal with a perfect left-footed cross from wide on the right. Marquinhos turned it in and no Troyes defender was anywhere near clearing it.
Di Maria seems likely to be leaving PSG this summer but he does so as PSG’s greatest ever assist-maker. This was his 112th in 292 appearances.
Kylian Mbappe is another who could be leaving after this season – though his case is much less clear than Di Maria’s – but he gave yet another performance full of desire and passion.
Mbappe charged onto a Neymar pass in the 25th-minute and American defender Erik Palmer-Brown was unable to stop the French forward fairly, conceding a penalty which Neymar confidently converted.
Troyes were gifted a route back into the contest five minutes later when Nuno Mendes, under pressure from the Troyes press, turned and fired a blind pass across the face of goal.
Canadian forward Ike Ugbo couldn’t have been better positioned and he took full advantage of the opportunity, firing beyond the diving Keylor Navas.
PSG would rue their failure to convert a late first-half period of dominance into a decisive third goal.
Troyes raced out of the blocks in the second half.
Renaud Ripart won a penalty when his clever footwork left Presnel Kimpembe grasping in desperation. Florian Tardieu – a boyhood Marseille fan – converted from the spot with an excellent Panenka before rushing to the away supporters to whip them into a frenzy.
PSG had chances to win, notably a penalty shout from Achraf Hakimi and a Neymar goal ruled out by VAR when Mbappe was judged to have committted a foul in the build-up.
Troyes were not without their own chances to win and are now six points clear of 18th-place St-Etienne, with a vastly superior goal difference (18 better than ASSE) and have effectively, if not officially, secured another season in Ligue 1 with a very impressive display in Paris.
TALKING POINT – PARIS SAINT GERMAIN ARE THEIR OWN WORST ENEMY AGAIN
What team has a greater tendency to produce self-inflicted wounds than PSG?
Nuno Mendes’ assist for Troyes’ opener was matched in its complete lack of necessity only by Presnel Kimpembe’s foul on Renaud Ripart.
The Parisiens had more than enough quality and opportunities to beat Troyes but baffling individual errors once again proved their undoing.
This tendency is something that has endured longer than any single manager but coach Mauricio Pochettino has evidently failed to iron it out and it cost PSG against Troyes.
PSG now have two matches to collect at least four points or they will finish with the lowest points total of any completed season since the first of the QSI era.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – ANGEL DI MARIA (PSG)
Angel Di Maria was, not for the first time this season, on another level to most of his teammates. The Argentinian played enough excellent passes to have finished with more than just the one assist. At a certain point in the second half, it seemed as though Di Maria had grown frustrated at his teammates’ failure to convert the chances he was creating and began running through the opposition instead. More than once he had seemingly conjured a promising counter only to look around and find no supporting runners.
PSG: Navas 7, Nuno 4, Kimpembe 5, Marquinhos 6, Hakimi 5, Danilo 6, Verratti 5, Neymar 7, Di Maria 8*, Mbappe 8, Messi 7 Subs: Wijnaldum 6, Gueye 6, Gharbi N/A
Troyes: Moulin 8 Biancone 8, Brown 6, Conté 6, Kaboré 7, Tardieu 7, Kouamé 7, Larouci 7 Ripart 6, Chevalerin 6 Ugbo 7 Subs: Salmier 6, Dingome 6, Balde N/A
6′ – GOAL PSG: Angel Di Maria floats a lovely left-footed cross into the box and the entire Troyes defence misjudge the flight of the ball, leaving Marquinhos free to tap-in.
25′ GOAL PSG: Neymar converts from the penalty spot after Kylian Mbappe is brought down in the box.
30′ GOAL TROYES: Ike Ugbo pounces as Nuno Mendes plays a terrible pass across the face of his own goal, Ugbo scores.
49′ GOAL TROYES: Florian Tardieu scores a penalty with a Panenka after Presnel Kimpembe clumsily concedes a spot-kick.
59′ GOAL PSG RULED OUT: Neymar’s first-time shot beats Jean Moulin but VAR intervenes to rule out the goal thanks to a foul by Mbappe in the build-up.
90′ FULL-TIME: Despite a furious late siege of the Troyes goal by PSG – with Lionel Messi hitting the bar and twice more going close – Troyes hold on for a deserved point.